Cranberry Balsamic Jus – Healthy Cooking Thursday

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A Weight Lifted has a history of bringing you lovely cranberry recipes (don’t forget the almond cranberry granola bar, too). We just love the tart little buggers.  They’ve got antioxidant power and are high in vitamin C.  And, lest we forget…they’re yummy as all get out.  (Stay tuned, campers; we will be posting a truly delicious cranberry recipe with NO ADDED SWEETENERS on the day before Thanksgiving!)

One problem with cranberries is their tartness.  Many recipes call for a whole lot of sugar to combat this, but the recipe below has just a little maple syrup (had to represent Vermont, of course) and a bit of orange to balance the zing of the cranberries.  The sweetness of balsamic helps, too.

Try this modern take on traditional cranberry sauce as a (low-fat) gravy alternative for your turkey this Thanksgiving.  It would also be lovely on pork and beef, or stirred in with rice or barley.  If allowed to sit overnight, the color becomes a gorgeous scarlet and the sweetness increases.  MMmmmm!

Cranberry Balsamic Jusyields about 3/4 cup

1 cup whole, fresh cranberries

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Juice and zest of 1 orange

1 1/2 T maple syrup

1/2 tsp sage

1/4 tsp black pepper

Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat and cook for a half an hour, or until the cranberries are soft and liquid is reduced and becoming syrupy.  Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree.  Keep in mind that hot liquids will jump when a blender is first turned on, so hold that lid on tight if the sauce is still warm!  Strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired for clarity…but honestly, I wouldn’t bother.  This sauce thickens as it sits, and can be reheated.

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